NFC North Notes: Packers, Lions, Vikings

The Packers tried to hire Ravens scout Milt Hendrickson last year, but then-GM Ozzie Newsome blocked the move. Last month, Green Bay was rumored to have a more successful approach lined up. On Tuesday, Hendrickson and the Packers reached an agreement that will bring him to Wisconsin with a promotion. A Ravens scout for 14 years, Hendrickson will become the Packers’ director of football operations, Michael Cohen of The Athletic tweets. This was Eliot Wolf‘s title before he relocated to Cleveland. Hendrickson and Packers GM Brian Gutekunst have been friends for more than 20 years, per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who adds it is believed Hendrickson allowed his Ravens contract to expire so he could join Gutekunst with the Packers. Prior to Newsome hiring Hendrickson in 2005, Gutekunst helped him land a scouting internship with the Packers. Hendrickson served as a regional and national scout with the Ravens. He will join co-directors of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan and John Wojciechowski as top Gutekunst assistants in the Green Bay front office.

Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • Six-season Jaguars special teams staffer Mike Mallory interviewed for ST positions with the Packers, Silverstein notes, adding the Packers are talking to two other candidates as well — possibly to fill two ST positions. Mallory served as Jacksonville’s head ST coach from 2013-16 before the team hired Joe DeCamillis to serve in that role. The Jags kept Mallory on as DeCamillis’ assistant the past two years.
  • On the subject of this division’s special teams leaders, the Lions announced they are bringing back John Bonamego as their ST coordinator. Bonamego left the Lions after the 2014 season to take over as head coach of his alma mater, Central Michigan. However, the Chippewas fired him after the 2018 campaign. He was previously Detroit’s ST boss from 2013-14. Interestingly, he was Mallory’s predecessor as Jaguars ST coordinator. He also served in this role for the Packers, Saints and Dolphins since 2003. The Lions fired Joe Marciano as their ST coordinator midseason.
  • While the Vikings again selected a cornerback in the first round last year in Mike Hughes, perhaps their offensive line needs should have won out. In an ESPN.com redraft, Courtney Cronin wrote Bears interior lineman James Daniels would have been the better choice (ESPN+ link). Daniels became a full-time starter with the Bears as a second-round rookie, being a first-string presence in Chicago’s final 10 regular-season games. ESPN also gave the Lions a different offensive lineman with their first pick, Michael Rothstein pulling the trigger on Giants guard Will Hernandez instead of Frank Ragnow.
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